Keep Your Teeth Clean. Spare the Trees. Be Careful Near Machinery.
Advice dispensed by posters created between 1936 and 1943 for the WPA continues to make good sense today. (WPA first stood for Works Progress Administration, and later Work Projects Administration.) If you are still shopping for New Year’s resolutions, maybe you can turn for suggestions to the straightforward words and graphics of these New Deal posters. More sage advice from 75 years ago: eat a balanced diet, write a letter, read the books you’ve always meant to read.
Drawn from our collection of over 900 WPA posters, a sampling of 25 posters has been added to the Library of Congress’ Flickr account. The original lithograph, silkscreen and woodcut posters were created to promote health, safety and educational programs, to advertise exhibits and other community activities, and to encourage tourism and travel during economically tough times. Many artists found work creating these images for the WPA, which was one of the first U.S. Government programs supporting the arts. The entire collection is available online through the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
With those wise words and colorful images in mind, here’s to a healthy, happy New Year!
- See the WPA Posters set on Flickr
- Explore the entire WPA Poster Collection in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog
- Read about the Library of Congress Flickr project